You Know You're a Teacher If...

Over the past few months, I've realized that some of my quirks habits, opinions, and even feelings have changed, and this new behavior can only be attributed to the fact that I'm a teacher. Things that I've never done before are suddenly very important. Things that never bothered me suddenly drive me insane. And things that used to drive me insane I now ignore. (aka noise!) Some of these are sort of a joke but most are completely true! My teacher friends will definitely relate to this list! Enjoy my weirdness. =)

You Know You're a Teacher If...

- you forget to answer when someone calls you by your first name.
- you grab a huge wad of napkins at restaurants anticipating that someone will spill.
- you find yourself using phrases like "raise your hand," "sound it out," and "get to work" in conversation with adults. 
- you aren't phased at the sight of blood but the sound of a pencil sharpener puts your nerves on edge. 
- you constantly pick up trash wherever you go. 
- the perforated edge of notebook paper is the bane of your existence.
- your fingertips have lost all feeling from pushing pins in bulletin boards.
- you have heard every possible explanation under the sun to replace a simple, "Yes, I was talking."
- you expect other adults to call you "ma'am."
- you get secretly annoyed when you call on someone who isn't listening and they still get the right answer.
- you judge people by their cursive writing. 
- you don't categorize seasons by the weather but by which sport is being played.
- you can hear whispering or chewing from more than 10 feet away.
- you would rather walk across hot coals than prepare for a substitute, because it means writing in actual sentences and not the abbreviated code you use for yourself.
- you willingly share your time, knowledge, and help... But not your chocolate.
- you convince yourself that not eating a candy bar that student bought you will absolutely scar the child for life and you simply cannot have that guilt on your shoulders.
- you'll spend 8 hours at a stretch on bulletin boards but spending more than an hour on lesson plans feels like you've lost an entire day of life.
- if you could, you would outlaw Caprisuns because those awful little straw wrappers never make it to the trash can.
- you cannot make it through lunch without opening at least 3 drinks, estimating microwave time for at least 4 casseroles, and getting splattered with at least one can of Chef Boyardee.
- you've felt really clever about an classroom idea until you find the same thing in a Google search.
- you hope you don't unexpectedly die and have anyone look through your desk.... Or closet... Or podium. 
- you have seen miraculous healings take place in the time it takes to walk from the classroom to the playground.
- you have to remind yourself that you once thought losing a tooth was a big deal, too.
- you know that the "s" word and the "h" word stand for "stupid" and "hate".
- you refuse to call on someone who waves at you and barks like a sea lion.
- you consider a whistle a fashion accessory.
- even though you swore you'd never do it, you find yourself wearing "sensible shoes".
- you feel empowered by a red pen.
- you have to remind yourself that every printed publication is not a paper to grade for correct spelling and grammar.
- you have a song or rhyme for nearly any situation.
- you choose creative writing topics based on what you know will get the most amusing results.
- you realize the "death stare" you give your students isn't nearly as effective on your husband.
- you can listen to the most outlandish prayer requests without cracking a smile.
- you wake up feeling like you have a new lease on life when you realize it's Friday.
- you have learned that your most difficult students usually win awards for perfect attendance.
- you frequently exercise your right to have an extra recess.
- you've answered a question with, "Because I know everything/because I said so!" 
- you know that professional wrestlers have nothing on a playground kickball fight.
- you've sat on the floor in Target's dollar section scavenging through every  bin for one more matching jump rope to complete your Christmas gifts.
- your favorite holiday isn't Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving... It's Teacher Appreciation Week!
- you've spent more money on classroom decorations than you have on groceries in a month.
- you wish that, instead of an apple, the universal gift for teachers was Target gift cards.
- you recognize that scribbles can indeed be works of art.
- you find yourself feeling flattered when a student says you are the "best teacher ever", even though you know full well that he said the same thing to his teacher last year and the year before.
- you have no problem making a complete fool of yourself in order to better convey a story or character or idea.
- you know how many days, hours, and minutes are left until summer break begins.
- you know the difference between real tears and fake tears.
- you are able to read minds and actually do have eyes in the back of your head!
- you now understand that your job description includes counselor, psychiatrist, maid, referee, chef, scientist, historian, financier, coach, editor, negotiator, peacemaker, surgeon, librarian, theologian, mechanic, seamstress, cheerleader, author, translator, and warden.
- you wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world!

If you teach and have an item to add, please do! I would love to hear more, especially from those who have taught for longer than my 8 months! =)



  1. I love this!! You really nailed it for a novice:)

  2. Love this post (and Mom's comment). It almost makes me want to be a classroom teacher (almost :)

  3. Ashley, I know exactly how many days we have left...twenty!! Even though I'm a director now, it's all the same. Also, during the 20 years that I was a teacher, my own children would make fun of me because when I was explaining something to anyone, my voice sounded like i was talking to little kids. I get excited when I go to a teacher supply store and I literally go crazy over cute stickers, book marks, bulletin board sets...well, you get the picture! Love you and love the post!!

  4. These were great, Ashley! I remember Michael asking me for a drink one time (during my days of working at an after-school child care program), and my automatic response was to raise my eyebrows and say, "Please?" Lol!! I was still on "teacher" autopilot! (Your "death stare" comment made me think of that - too funny!)

  5. Ahhh, I love this! Teacher quirks are so funny! I can't stand it when people (even adults) are talking while I'm talking or aren't following directions :)

    1. I agree... it's made me less tolerant of what I consider "unacceptable behavior" even outside my classroom. =) Thanks for reading, Kate!

  6. Haha, I taught first grade for five years and can attest to every one of these! I could never figure out why Caprisun straw wrappers never made it in the trash can either! =)


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